Here’s a time-tested method that has been employed for hundreds of years to expedite the ripening of figs. I have successfully used this method, and it allowed me to harvest figs about 1-2 weeks earlier than the usual season. Several fig growers have harnessed this technique, enabling them to offer fresh figs for sale two weeks ahead of the typical fig season.
To begin, select a fig that is nearly full size. Take a piece of cotton and saturate it with olive oil. Gently rub a small amount of olive oil onto the chosen fig. Initially, I experimented with just one fig to observe the results. This method is particularly effective for the breba crop, which constitutes the first crop of the Vista variety.
After only 2 days, the fig treated with olive oil appeared noticeably larger and had darkened in color.
Fast forward 6 days from when the fig was first rubbed with oil, and it’s now ready for harvesting. When applying the oil, be sure to do so very lightly. This method can be applied to both the breba and the main crop, but timing is crucial. Ensure that you treat figs that haven’t yet reached their full, attainable size, typically when they are about 2-3 weeks away from complete ripeness. This technique is most effective during the heat of the summer. Applying oil during the fall or in cooler weather will not yield the same results.